Posted on 22nd February 2017
The latest BHBPA Event took place on Monday this week at The Birch Hotel, where MSDC Leader Garry Wall was the guest speaker. As the distinctive smell of bacon and sausages began to appeal, so the numbers of members increased, and by the time breakfast and the first networking session were over, there were 50 people crowding all spaces trying to hear the message.
The BHBPA Co-ordinator spoke first about the BHBiz Awards event on May 5th and the need to keep those nominations for awards rolling in. He then introduced Garry Wall for the main business of the morning. The audience were not disappointed with the amount of information he imparted about the current situation with regard to Burgess Hill developments, even if some of it was not in everyone’s best interests.
With help and support from Rachel Crisp, the Programme Manager for the Burgess Hill Growth Area, Garry talked through the changes due to come to Burgess HIll over the next 15-20 years. It will be a period of tremendous change for the town, sparked by the desperate need for more houses. 5000 new homes are due to be built here, and some of them are already off the ground. This in turn means that infrastructure has to be upgraded, eg new schools and a sustainable new transport system are needed.
You can see the whole presentation from Mid Sussex District Council here
The plan is to create up to 100,000 sqm of employment space, a £65m new town centre, a Science and Technology Park and over 10,000 jobs. The £65m new town centre will include all new retail units, a Multiplex cinema. family restaurants, a new hotel, 142 new homes and a new library.
Crucially for the town and the business community, new space will be provided for the business sector, including new out of town premises which can potentially be customised to new occupant’s requirements.The Northern Arc includes an employment are of 30 hectares, some of which already has planning permission. Plans for a new secondary school, a Community sports centre and the long overdue delivery of ultra fast broadband to businesses are well advanced.
After 45 minutes had flown by, the audience deeply interested in the developments of course, we had to take a few questions and then call a halt to proceedings. Lots of members stayed behind for more discussion while Garry moved on to his regular day’s work. It had been an intensely interesting and informative meeting, even for those with businesses in the town centre who are still unsure about their future.
Our thanks go to Garry and Rachel for coming and speaking to members and also of course to Patrick and his staff at the hotel for so generously hosting the event. Thanks, too, to all those who worked hard to get there on a Monday morning in February.
"I am delighted to have a long-standing relationship with the BHBPA. Since its foundation the Association has gone from strength to strength and there is no doubt that it has brought huge benefits to its members and the business community as a whole through the partnerships it has formed with the local authorities, Sussex Police and local organisations. It is paramount that Burgess Hill businesses have an effective collective voice."
"“I can’t speak highly enough of the BHBPA. As a small local business we feel very much part of a community and thoroughly enjoy the annual exhibition and meetings throughout the year. Over the years we have built fantastic working relationships with many BHBPA members and every meeting and event offers us opportunities to work with more. This is networking at its best! ” "
"This association was started with a lot of effort from a few local businessmen and has proved to be a very powerful and useful tool for our business. The BHBPA has influence at the top level; when action is needed, the BHBPA gets it done. We are kept in touch with all that is happening on our doorstep and will often act because of what is published in the weekly emails / newsletters."
"The BHBPA is the most effective and dynamic business organisation I have ever worked with in over 30 years in Local Government. It has a very active and large membership whose points of view are taken seriously by all government structures. Peter Liddell does an excellent job in providing unique and enjoyable networking opportunities where members interact and discuss points of mutual interest. It provides a forum for businesses to discuss common issues, to share experiences and to play a powerful and meaningful role in the Burgess Hill community. The BHBPA provides important and credible support for all its members and ensures that their best interests are represented where necessary. "